So now that everyone with the Marriott Premier Rewards Visa has received their Cat 1-5 cert, where should we use them? I would love to get some ideas as to where I can get the best redemption value. Thoughts? erc, IAHFLYR, vaboywnder
The two properties I used the past two years are both now Cat 6. Renaissance Pittsburgh North Shore (GREAT property) and the EWR Marriott (great for 6AM flights)
I would love to hear any and all suggestions!
Now that CAT 5 is the new CAT 3, your choices in aspirational properties are very limited. Yes, you can go to Moscow, Cairo or Bangkok with it, but at what opportunity/incidental cost? Do you really want to endure long travel to politically/economically unstable places just to burn a cert?
I have had the card for years and the first couple of years, I was way too busy and didn't use it at all (the absolute worst use of a cert). I have used it to extend a business trip into the weekend, if the location was interesting (very low opportunity cost). In more recent times, if I have had no other use for the cert, I have done a "staycation" closer to my home (almost zero opportunity cost).
Oh heck I have no idea as yet, I've still got a Cat 1-5 to use before May 1st, so I'm sure we will find some place to head off to, maybe the Residence Inn Atlantic City Somers Point: Somers Point Extended Stay Hotels for a weekend so we can get to Home - Bagliani's Market in Hammonton, N.J. to bring home an Italian Sub or two, Italian Sausage and some Cheese!!
Which reminds me of a question for The specified item was not found.. The certificate expires 5/1/2015, could I technically use it on the night of May 1, 2015? What say thee "Greater Team"?
I was last there July 2012 and it was so badly in need of a make over. The place was renovated in 2013 and looks like from the pictures they did a fairly good job of it especially the Penthouse which I was able to stay in quite a few times. It is a nice joint and not far off the Garden State Parkway.
We'd stay there in the Spring-early Fall as it was a great location where we could walk to the bars and restaurants along the shore with out worry of having one of our idiots (co-workers so to speak) having to drive us. Late Fall-Winter we'd opt for the Resort near Atlantic City NJ| Marriott’s Fairway Villas which was closer to the Tech Center at the airport and an awesome property particularly when you had the gov't rate which was then $96/night.
WOW I just looked at the Villas for tonight and they have a Rewards rate of $139 for a two BR 2 Bath villa, you might want to hop the train to watch the Championship game tonight.
Hey IAHFLYR ! Josh and team looked into this, and you can use the certificate on the night May 1st! Let us know if we can help answer any other questions.
Mine doesnt get issued till March but ill be using it to add an extra day to my vegas vacation in june at the residence inn or I might try out the renaissance for that day just to see what its like since they are really close together. I just hope their allocation for rewards rooms isnt sold out.
Great topic! Hopefully this posting will help others to find good uses of their Cat 5 Certs. Here is a link to all current Category 5 properties: https://www.marriott.com/hotel-search/Category5.hotels/
Here are some personal recommendations and other properties that have caught my eye:
Residence Inn Tempe Downtown: Have not stayed here but property has excellent reviews and in a great location for visiting Phoenix.
Courtyard Burbank: Stayed here many times, excellent property near film studios in Hollywood
Renaissance Long Beach Hotel: Have not stayed here but property has excellent reviews.
Courtyard St Petersburg Clearwater/Madeira Beach: Brand new waterfront property opening in Feb 2015.
Marriott Villas at Doral: Have not stayed here, Vacation Club property in Miami Fl.
Courtyard Orlando Lake Buena Vista in Marriott Village: Nice Courtyard located near the entrance to Disney
Residence Inn West Palm Beach Downtown: Brand new property opening in Feb 2015
Residence Inn National Harbor: One of erc's favorites. Lots of great shops, restaurants, and other attractions near this property. Some rooms have views of the harbor.
Kansas City Marriott Downtown: I'm actually using some cat 5 certificates from last years's Mega Bonus here in March while taking in a convention.
Renaissance Las Vegas: I've not stayed here but hotel has good reviews. Close to Monrail which will take you to the Vegas Strip.
Residence Inn Nashville Vanderbilt/West End: New hotel opening near downtown in Jan 2015
Residence Inn Austin University Area: Excellent new property that opened last year. Short Ride to Downtown Austin.
Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel Excellent property near Regan Airport and DC. Short walk to DC Metro station.
Residence Inn Charlottesville: Well run property close to Barracks Road Shopping Center and UVA.
Residence Inn Waynesboro: Excellent property in the Shenandoah Valley.
Nice list vaboywnder. There are some pretty good cat. 5 hotels out there. I've stayed at some really nice cat 3's. Granted, none of them are in large cities, but there are a lot to choose from.
Believe it or not my 3 nights in California in March are all at cat 2 properties (CY Vacaville and Fairfield, and SHS Madera). Might not be SF, but they suit my county collecting trip perfectly.
Two Cat 5 properties that I had great experiences at in 2014, albeit they would likely involve at least a long weekend from the Mid-Atlantic are:
Dearborn, Michigan Hotel: Experience The Dearborn Inn, A Historic Marriott Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan (bejacob also stayed here in 2014 and this is a favorite of jerrycoin)
My trip reports from both properties are linked below:
I am using a Cert in Salt Lake City - Marriott University. Reviews are NOT good, but it's a Marriott proper, so I thought we would give it a try. Just staying one night prior to hitting Mountainside in Park City - so it should be worth it. I have read that the views of the Mountains from the University hotel are great if you get a room facing that way.
Due to inclimate weather, we decided to go to Puerto Rico a day earlier. We used ours at the Miramar Courtyard before heading to La Concha Renaissance. It was perfect as we used that day there to take the bus out front into Old San Juan and explore.
I just realized that the Las Vegas Renaissance is a category 5. We have been staying there on Saturday nights before heading to the Cosmoploitan. It is a very nice hotel and if you are lucky to get an upgrade the suites are very nice. Already booked it this year with my upcoming certificate.
ONe more shout out to Marriott. Please bring back the certificate option for the Mega Bonuses.